By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Manila Bulletin

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Monday he regrets not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 during the distribution of shots developed by China-based Sinovac Biotech at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) last March 1.

“Nagsisisi nga ako na hindi ako nagpabakuna noong panahon na sa PGH kasi kung hindi siguro naubusan at napabakunahan ako sa PGH, siguro hindi na ako nadapuan ngayon [ng COVID-19],” Roque said in a Palace briefing.

Roque admitted this after he revealed that he got infected with COVID-19.

Roque was present during the Sinovac distribution at PGH. The Palace official was supposed to get vaccinated but later said he did not make it into the cut of first round of inoculations.

He explained that he was not be able to get vaccinated since healthcare frontliners are currently first in line for inoculation program. Instead, he encouraged healthcare workers to get shots available for them.

“It was really, I think, sad na hindi ako nakapagpabakuna (that I wasn’t vaccinated) but we also have to follow protocols na unahin muna ‘yung mga (to prioritize) medical frontliners,” he said.

“So ang aking pakiusap doon sa mga medical frontliners, kung mayroon pa ho, kunin niyo na ‘yan. Nandyan na ho ang bakuna, kunin ninyo na ho kaysa ma-include kayo sa datos gaya ko,” Roque added.

The Philippines, according to Department of Health (DOH), has so far administered 193,492 COVID-19 vaccine doses.

The country kicked off its vaccination drive on March 1, following the arrival of 600,000 doses from Sinovac.

On March 4, 487,200 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from British-Swede firm AstraZeneca arrived in the country, followed by another set of 38,400 doses that arrived on March 7.

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